The Cambridge Index fell 726.6 points or 3.1% to close at 22442.4, as six of the top ten Index heavyweights posted weekly losses to their share prices.
Cambridge Index declines 3.1%
DS Smith, down 10.7%, in its full year 2020 results, announced that its revenues declined to £6.04b from £6.17b recorded in the previous year. Its basic earnings per share increased to 21.2p from 19.7p in the previous year. The Board deferred payment of dividends until the economic outlook gets clearer.
Cambridge Cognition, up 7%, in its trading update for H1 2020, announced that it has entered into contracts worth £4.9m, which is almost double the order intake in the first half of 2019. The firm has signed four large order contracts worth over £500k and ten contracts for between £50k and £500k. The company announced that it will release its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2020 on 22 September 2020.
Checkit, up 2.5%, announced that it had completed the sale of certain assets of Elektron Eye Technology Limited to Topcon Europe Medical BV, for around £0.8m, payable in 24 equal monthly instalments. Separately, the firm today announced that it has appointed Aylsa Muir as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) designate. She is expected to join the Board in September 2020.
Peel Hunt trimmed its target price on Horizon Discovery Group, up 2.4%, to 108p from 171p and reaffirmed its “Hold” rating on the stock.
IQGeo Group, unchanged at 59.5p, announced expansion of software licenses across new teams within one of Canada's largest telecom network operators. Its overall value is around £0.7m.
Kier Group PLC, down 13.4%, in its trading update since 1 April 2020, announced that its trading performance was in line with the Board's expectations. Around 80% of the group's sites remained open during COVID-19. As at 31 May 2020, the firm’s order book stood at £7.6b. Further, the company anticipates cost savings of about £100m in the financial year ending 30 June 2021.
Sareum Holdings, down 4.7%, announced that it will settle deferred salary of Directors’ through the issue of new ordinary shares of 0.03p each.
Xaar, down 1.9%, announced the appointment of Alison Littley as Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee.
Feedback, down 2.4%, announced that it has referred to its earlier announcement relating to its open offer and stated that valid applications were received in respect of, in aggregate, 21,981,769 open offer shares and the total amount raised pursuant to the placing and open offer is approximately £5.27m.
UK markets closed mostly higher last week, amid hopes of a potential coronavirus vaccine. On the data front, British manufacturing sector activity came in line with investor expectations, while downturn in the UK services sector eased in June. Further, British consumer confidence slightly improved over the past two weeks, as more firms prepared to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown. However, the mood still remains fragile. On the flipside, the British economy reported its largest contraction since 1979 in Q1 2020. Additionally, British consumer credit dropped more than expected in May. The FTSE 100 index ended marginally lower at 6157.3, while the FTSE AIM 100 index climbed 1.4% to close at 4584.2. Meanwhile, the FTSE techMARK 100 index gained 0.8% to end at 5341.2.
US markets ended higher in the previous week, buoyed by a record surge in nonfarm payrolls for June, which provided assurance that the US economic recovery was well under way. Also, the nation’s unemployment rate fell for the second straight month in June, due to massive rehiring. Meanwhile, weekly data showed new applications for jobless benefits continued to slow. In other news, US factory orders rebounded in May, recording its first increase in three months. Additionally, pending home sales spiked by the most on record on a monthly basis in May, suggesting that the housing market was starting to turn around. The DJIA index rose 3.2% to end at 25827.4, while the NASDAQ index gained 4.6% to close at 10207.6.
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